Nothing fires me up more than when I see parents getting bullied about VACCINE CHOICE. I get the vaccine controversy. I’m not arguing the controversy. I’m fighting for TRUTH over the simple fact that parents have a CHOICE.
The truth is that SHOTS ARE NOT MANDATORY FOR SCHOOL. It is a simple truth that unfortunately even our school systems and school administrators do NOT understand.
I first wrote on this topic in a guest blog post for Modern Alternative Mama, in an article titled “No Shots, No School, Not True”. You can read the original article (HERE), although I’m going to share a lot from it again on this blog post.
For the past few years I have been trying to work with my children’s school over the letter that is sent home to children with incomplete shot records. The letter typically reads like….”Your child _______ will not be able to return to school by this date _______if they are not up to date on their shots”. Lie, lie, lie. Bullying. And against the law.
Where is the mention of “your child either needs to turn in a completed shot record OR sign an exemption form”. Why isn’t the exemption form listed as an option? OR. SIGN. AN. EXEMPTION. FORM. (5 words). Adding just these 5 simple words would represent TRUTH. Would represent CHOICE. And would actually be representing the LAW. Why isn’t the law represented? Why is ok to bully a parent into thinking they have NO CHOICE. Did you know every school is required by law to provide exemption forms?
Not only are vaccines are not “required” for school attendance. But did you know it is against the law to deny a child an education because of shots? AGAINST. THE. LAW.
I have gone over this with the school system for 4 years now. I have even helped them re-write the exemption forms to keep up with the current LAW.
In my state of Louisiana, the current law is: Under Louisiana Revised Statues 17:170 Sec E, families can claim exemption from vaccines, for philosophical/personal, religious, and medical reasons.
In the state of Louisiana, a philosophical exemption can simply read:
Statement of Exemption:
Under Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:170 Sec E, I hereby claim exemption from the immunization requirement for Philosophical/Personal reasons.
(Statement of dissent for philosophical/personal reasons.)
I understand that in the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease at the location of the educational institution or facility the student attends, the administrators of the educational institution or facility, upon the recommendation of the office of public health, may exclude the student from attendance until the incubation period has expired or I present evidence of immunization.
_____________________________ Student signature
_____________________________ Parent or Guardian’s signature (if required)
This is a picture of the exemption form sent home from my children’s school. I’ve blacked out the letterhead showing parish and school name for privacy reasons. But as you can see very basic and simple.
I have asked my children’s school to please provide this exemption option to parents at 1. School Registration 2. When the school sends the incomplete shot record letters home and 3. Please attach a copy of this exemption form.
I do not think these are unnecessary requests since it is the LAW after all.
Last year, when my children received yet again another letter informing us that they could not return back to school by a certain date if they were not “up-to-date” on their shots, I called the school office and spoke with school administration. I asked why the exemption form was still not being included in these letters? I felt like we had a very positive discussion and looked forward to see the appropriate changes made.
Fast forward to present time. Yesterday my children came home with a hand written note from the school nurse, including ONLY the exemption forms attached for me to sign. Wow! Thinking I had finally made a difference with what is sent home to parents….not. Sure enough I received emails from other parents who were sent home the “your child can’t return back to school by 12/1/14 without a complete shot record” and NO exemption form. What?!? One parent asked: “What are my options to stop getting bullied by the school about vaccinations?”
First, there has got to be consistency in what the school sends home to EVERY family. Don’t send me the exemption form just to shut me up. I don’t do what I do only for my children. I fight this fight for ALL kids. For ALL parents to know they have a choice. For ALL parents to know their rights. For ALL parents to know the LAW. For ALL parents to know truth.
The schools need to stop this bullying tactic of telling a parent that their child cannot return to school by a certain date without a complete shot record. And they need to start providing parents with the accurate representation of the law, which also provides parents with truth and a choice.
Parents have a CHOICE. Vaccines are NOT Mandatory.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
In the book, Vaccination is NOT Immunization, written by Dr. O’Shea he shares:
Mandated means that there are laws about something.
Mandatory means you have to do something or other. Two entirely different concepts. Vaccines are mandated, but they are not mandatory, as school officials like to pretend.
There are exemptions from vaccination, in every state. Mississippi & West Virginia are the only states that don’t allow Religious and only allow Medical exemptions.
1. All states have a medical exemption.
2. All states allow a religious exemption to vaccination except Mississippi and West Virginia.
3. Philosophical exemption. The following 17 states allow exemption to vaccination based on philosophical, personal or conscientiously held beliefs: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
Proof of Immunity
Some states will allow exemptions to vaccination for certain diseases if proof of immunity can be shown to exist. Immunity can be proven if you or your child have had the natural disease or have been vaccinated. You have to check your state laws to determine which vaccines in your state can be exempted if proof of immunity is demonstrated.
Private medical laboratories can take blood (a titer test) and analyze it to measure the level of antibodies, for example, to measles or pertussis that are present in the blood. If the antibody level is high enough, according to accepted standards, you have obtained proof of immunity and may be able to use this for an exemption to vaccination, so your child does not need their umpteenth booster shot.
Every school is required by law to provide exemption forms. But they don’t. You must know about your state’s exemption form before hand. And don’t be surprised when you find yourself teaching the school officials about a law they don’t know exists.
*To learn more about vaccine laws in each state and what each exemption means, The National Vaccine Information Center provides links to each states laws (HERE)
*Vactruth writes an article titled: “Your Child Does NOT Have To Be Vaccinated To Attend School, Here’s Why…”, you can read that article (HERE)
*One of the most thorough sites I’ve found where you can click on your State and find sample exemption forms, sample exemption letters, etc… Click (HERE)
Article originally appeared on Gianelloni Family